Who and What is the Sports Association of Oakland (SAO)?
The Sports Association of Oakland (SAO) is an independent, non-profit group whose main objective is to support youth sports and recreation in Oakland. It is not the Recreation Commission, nor is it connected to the borough in any way. The SAO is comprised of 9 volunteers who all reside in Oakland. One member is also a member of the Recreation Commission, but there is no direct link between the SAO and the Commission other than what is written below. The SAO holds a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit IRS status and also has a New Jersey State gaming license, allowing it to sponsor raffles and games of chance. Membership meets once a month in a public meeting held at the Danny D’Elia building.
Some of what the SAO offers for Oakland is as follows:
- Act as a bank for all recreation fundraising efforts. Football, Baseball, Wrestling, etc., all hold fundraising events. All monies are deposited and held in the SAO bank account for accounting, related taxes and transparency purposes.
- Act as a bank for Great Oak Park Committee fundraising efforts.
- Summer camp trips and meal collections are deposited in the SAO bank account. Certain companies will not accept borough purchase orders, so the SAO will act as the bank to collect and then pay for these summer camp activities.
- Sponsor art classes for Oakland’s youth. The SAO helps to fill a need in Oakland to offer different classes in many art disciplines for residents. The classes have been at Valley Middle School, the Oakland Public Library, the Danny D’Elia Building, and Ramapo Valley Baptist Church.
- Philanthropist for various Oakland youth needs. The SAO has paid for the sprinklers on field 9, recess equipment for all elementary schools, scoreboards, the main playground equipment, football helmets, plaques, awards & honors, and much more.
- Ran the 2012 Oakland carnival, 100% of proceeds went towards funding the walking path, which were transferred to the Borough in December 2014.
- Nominate and induct Oakland Sports Hall of Fame members.
- Fund and support the Oakland Recreation website, manage advertisements on website.
- Maintain a Facebook page to proactively inform townspeople on Oakland Recreation information/notifications (e.g., field closings) and SAO activities.
- Front funding for travel sports tournaments, recreation referees, and recreation umpires.
The SAO Treasurer is an accountant who prepares all necessary taxes and required papers to ensure SAO compliance with regulatory requirements. All disbursements are voted on by the entire board and require majority approval. SAO meetings are on a monthly basis (Danny D), are open to the public, and provide an "open public" session for anyone to attend.
2012 SAO Carnival Crew: 1:15am Sunday morning. Photo taken by Soccer Rec Commissioner Steve Saliani.